The rankings for Week 4 of the Fantasy football season at quarterback look a lot like they did before the season, at least in the top 12. The only unexpected interloper is Derek Carr, though even he looks like he probably deserves credit for how strongly he finished last season, given how good he's been this season. Sure, Matthew Stafford has leapt into the top six for me, but that isn't exactly surprising.
There are plenty of surprises in the middle tier at the position, however, starting with the Panthers Sam Darnold at QB15. He's been a very good fit for the Panthers offense so far, and he's probably going to be i a shootout against the Cowboys this week. But the more surprising ranking might be the next guy, at No. 16: Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke wasn't even on my radar for 2QB leagues, to be honest -- I expected Kyle Allen to be the primary backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick. But I've been impressed by Heinicke's willingness to take chances as well as his ability to make plays with his legs. He's got a cake matchup against the Falcons on the way, and if you need a streamer in a pinch, don't overlook him.
Here's how the rest of the rankings shake out for me:
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Week 4 QB Rankings
- Patrick Mahomes
- Josh Allen -- Whatever questions we had about Allen's disappointing play through two weeks were answered emphatically against what we thought was a very good Washington defense. Now, he gets what we're pretty sure is a bad Houston defense. The only concern here is the Bills may not need to throw the ball much, though that didn't stop Allen from launching 43 passes in Week 3.
- Kyler Murray
- Lamar Jackson -- Jackson is healthy and I'm still viewing him as a must-start QB despite the back injury that kept him out of practice earlier this week.
- Justin Herbert -- I said last week I was expecting a breakout performance from Herbert and that's exactly what we got. What should we expect for an encore? More of the same from a QB who has thrown the ball at least 38 times in each game. He's a star.
- Matthew Stafford -- The Rams threw a bunch in Week 3, and Stafford put together a huge performance thanks to a breakout game by DeSean Jackson. There is an absurd amount of talent for Stafford to work with here, and there's no reason to think he won't continue to roll.
- Dak Prescott
- Tom Brady -- Brady needs 67 yards to pass Drew Brees for the all-time leader in passing yards, so there shouldn't be much suspense there. The Buccaneers have thrown on a stunning 72.3% of their plays this season, and why should that change? With the way Brady is playing, it shouldn't.
- Jalen Hurts
- Russell Wilson -- Wilson is off to another excellent start, and the 49ers defense has been vulnerable against the pass in the early going -- in large part thanks to a bunch of injuries to their secondary. Expect another strong performance from Wilson.
- Aaron Rodgers
- Derek Carr -- The aggressive Carr we saw down the stretch of 2020 has carried over to the first three games, and he's actually got at least 300 yards in each of his last seven full games -- he left one game with an injury -- with 14 touchdowns in that span.
- Kirk Cousins
- Sam Darnold -- You have to be impressed with Darnold's play so far this season, as he is benefitting from getting out of Adam Gase's offense and into one with a plethora of weapons. Darnold's 85.1% on-target rate is the best of his career by far, and he's entered into the weekly streaming discussion for me.
- Taylor Heinicke -- I kinda think Heinicke is going to be a thing for Fantasy. He's a bit wild, but he's willing to make plays with his legs and take shots down the field. This is a pretty excellent matchup against the Falcons, and Heinicke is a viable streaming option.
- Joe Burrow -- The Bengals have been happy to limit Burrow's exposure to the pass rush, and there's a decent chance they are able to play pretty conservatively in Week 4 against the Jaguars. I'd like to see them open it up before Week 5's big game against the Packers, but I'm not sure I trust them to do it just yet.
- Baker Mayfield -- Mayfield had another solid game in Week 3 and had just one touchdown yet again. Given the way this offense operates, he just has a really narrow path to Fantasy relevance most weeks.
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Daniel Jones -- Jones has a much tougher test this week against a Saints defense that ranks in the top five in nearly every relevant metric. Jones has played better, but I'm not near the point where I'm trusting him against a matchup like this.
- Justin Fields -- That was an almost impossibly bad debut for Fields, whose coaching staff completely failed to put him in position to succeed. You can't trust him for Fantasy even against this kind of matchup, but I'm not ready to drop him either.
- Matt Ryan -- Ryan looks really bad right now. He's been unwilling to push the ball downfield, which has limited the Falcons offensive upside despite the presence of Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Washington's defense hasn't been good this season, but I don't know how you can trust Ryan right now.
- Jimmy Garoppolo
- Ryan Tannehill -- With A.J. Brown and Julio Jones out, it's hard to trust Tannehill even against a really enticing matchup.
- Jacoby Brissett
- Jameis Winston
- Trevor Lawrence
- Jared Goff
- Ben Roethlisberger -- I'm not sure how long the Steelers can keep running Roethlisberger out there if he's going to play like this. I'm not sure Mason Rudolph would fare any better, but Roethlisberger is not inspiring confidence.
- Mac Jones
- Carson Wentz
- Zach Wilson -- I'm going to go out on a limb and say Wilson is going to have the best performance of his NFL career this week. That isn't saying much, but this Titans pass defense is vulnerable, and Wilson should be able to get something going.
- Davis Mills
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 4 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.